Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Confederacy Theory

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These analysts fear that China's improving military capableness risk undermining current security Hyannis predicated upon realism's hegemonic stably theory. Hegemonic stably argues that because the united States possesses overwhelming economic and malpractice might, the international order has remained relatively stable (Snyder 2009, 6-7). Liberalism and interstate cooperation has flourished because security has been guaranteed by the united States, who acts as an arbiter in local or regional disputes.

Of late, however, US hegemony is waning. After two failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a global economic recession, the relative power losses of the united States coupled with the economic and militaristic rise of China has realist analysts predicting deepening security dilemmas between China and her neighbors and China and the US (Christensen 1999, 49-51; Braver 2007/8, 44 Newer 2009, 206-207).

The 'security dilemma' narrative contends that declining US power and influence in East Asia will precipitate increased nationalism, instability, and conflict, and the emergence of a new great power capable of challenging the US will accelerate the decline of the us-backed liberal order (Snyder 1999, 10-12). Accordingly, a security dilemma follows logically with the decline of a hegemony. However, as China continues its ascent and the US seems poised to decline, the stability of the international order has remained relatively in tact.

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In fact, rather than undermining or challenging the liberal international order, China seems eager to participate in the existing structure (Liana 2007, 5-20). China is not adhering to Sun Tutu's maxim that a rising power will increasingly flex its military muscle. Instead, "China's behavior challenges existing arguments... On power transitions, which assert that a rising state is likely to use force" (Braver 2007, 47). Accordingly, the predominate Yosemite theories of realism and neo-liberals are falling to adequately account for China's peaceful and nonviolent behavior given Its gains In relative power (Newer 2009, 207).

If a different theory can more accurately explain China's peaceful rise despite relative power gains, than perhaps the very notion of a security dilemma can be effectively overcome. This essay will challenge hegemonic stably and Introduce the nascent concept of confederacy theory and Its gulden principle of a 'prosperity-interest'. This essay will then demonstrate that prosperity-interests are effectively maligning the traditional resent of a security dilemma in Taiwan and in China by elevating prosperity and a security dilemma are a self-fulfilling prophecy - if you expect security concerns to be paramount, they will be.

However, while this narrative predicts increased tensions, the reality presents a far different picture. Security dilemmas are being normalized by an expanding commercialism that priorities growth and prosperity over conflict. Confederacy Theory Confederacy theory was presented by Squids Snyder who reflected that the actions of states in the current global order do not properly fit into extant systemic theories. Snyder argues that the liberal international order constructed post WI is no longer being singularly supported by US hegemony.

Instead, the international order is currently buttressed by what Snyder calls 'a confederate structure composed of a cluster of liberal states engaged in vigorous commercial rivalry (Snyder 2009, 15). The role of the United States has shifted from being the system's underwriter to simply being its largest participant. At the center of the current international order are nations interacting and integrating commercially at unprecedented levels while simultaneously competing against one another to make gains in relative prosperity.

The nucleus of this order is not composed of the United States, nor will it be controlled singularly by China or any rising state. Instead, power resides in a cohesive commercial league of nations centered around the strongest Western powers plus Japan. "This league is a major power configuration that has altered competitive dynamics such that commercial integration... Not military opposition and revision, has become the dominant competitive strategy' (Snyder 2009, 34).

The Cold War marked an era wherein acquiring guns at any cost meant acquiring security and power - hence why the Cold War is the apotheosis of realism. Today, however, the obvious reality that money buys guns is trumping the strategic imperative of having guns. In the current global order, wealth is power, and in order to maximize wealth, countries are seeking "the desired benefits derived from membership and inclusion in the commercial order" (Snyder 2009, 19). The sheer magnitude of commercialism dictates that in order to compete nations must Join in so as not to be left behind.

A country's strength "to a large degree hinges on [its] ability to integrate itself into he dominant liberal commercial order," (Snyder 2009, 16). In order to prosper and be competitive, nations must appeal to foreign direct investment (FED), attract the brightest minds from around the world, invest in human capital, invest in foreign companies, attract overseas firms, reciprocally trade in raw materials, acquire cheap energy, etc. (Myers 2010, 2-7). For a state to enhance its power and security, it must enhance its access to economic and commercial resources.

Failure to engage with this league of nations means a failure to economically grow; and a failure to grow dads to instability, both domestically and militarily. Accordingly, the guiding principle to security and power isn't simply owning a gun, it's possessing the wealth and prosperity to buy a gun any time you need. Prosperity & The Security Dilemma - What does this mean for Security Dynamics? Despite underlying shifts in the distribution of power between nations, "the basic represents the nucleus of a new order predicated upon prosperity, not military power.

In this system, "the most powerful driver of competitive behavior relates not to survival, but prosperity and commerce" (Snyder 2009, 16). To this point, confederacy theory seems in line with neo-liberalism. However, while integration can exist along a wide spectrum of interests, the principle phenomenon in confederacy theory focuses on the magnitude of commerce rather than on inter- governmental relations and the concept of institutional peace. Commercialism inherently requires a heavy degree of institutionalizing, but the important factor is that each state retains its sovereignty.

A security dilemma is avoidable not because the institutions themselves mitigate conflict, but because commerce becomes the entrap arena wherein "the balance has shifted from guns to butter" (Snyder 2009, While liberals optimistically await the end of competitive inclinations, confederacy theory argues that competitive dynamics persist, but only in reaction to economic pressures rather than traditional military capabilities. "Every state still prefers to make gains relative to rivals" in order to maintain a prosperity gap (Snyder 2009, 24).

Accordingly, security interests are not abandoned for absolute gains; only, "prosperity interests have eclipsed security concerns while competition has shifted to immemorial rivalry' (Snyder 2009, 34). Because competition and relative gains remain despite collaboration and overwhelming interaction, the security dilemma isn't simply removed from the equation. Instead, what confederacy theory argues is a normalization of traditional security concerns because a state's viable strategic options are fundamentally limited.

If participating in commercialism provides the means to economically prosper, then it logically follows that states will conform to systemic requirements in order to be included. While institutions like the World Trade Organization exist to ensure fair trade raciest, what is more fascinating are how nations are conforming their behavior to unwritten rules or best practices in order to increase national competitiveness economically. In order to attract capital and investment, nations must demonstrate political stability and economic liberalism.

For instance, nations must have a consistent and enforceable legal system; they must protect intellectual property, promote innovation, and enforce banking and finance norms. In short, "capital follows opportunity... [and] seeks out political stability' (Snyder 2009, 20). Military posturing r even the threat of instability inherently limits national competitiveness in attracting capital and growth. China's GAP the year before the Attainment square incident grew 1 1. 9%; in the two years following Attainment, GAP grew merely 4. 1% and 3. 8% respectively (Workloads).

Security dilemmas will still exist, but countries literally can not afford to act upon fears at the risk of substantially limiting their ability to continue to prosper relative to other nations. "Even those who might arguably have Justifiable reason to fear one another?as the US might be wary of China's rise?none can actually afford to act on Hess fears in the ways Unrealism expects" (Snyder 2009, 19). Concerning the security dilemmas that may arise from China's military modernization, none is more precarious than the China-Taiwan relationship.

China has continued to emphasize its 'One-China' policy as a top priority, and to demonstrate their resolve, China has hundreds of missiles pointed at Taipei to ensure compliance to the 2005 'anti-cessation' law threatening force if Taiwan proceeds with formal independence (Rigger 2006, 1). Realist analysts view the region as a powder keg waiting to erupt. To highlight the depth of concern, realists note that even characteristics of the traditional security dilemma are heightened as defensive weaponry, which is usually not considered a move towards escalation, is seen as overtly threatening (Christensen 2009, 51).

Despite these ominous trends, Taiwan is actually moving closer to China rather than distancing itself (Rigger 2006, 2-4). Though Taiwan is experiencing increased nationalism, which should fuel resentment and conflict, traditional realist concerns over military balancing are not their immediate concern. There is an emerging paradox in Taiwan wherein as the number of people identifying themselves as Taiwanese increases, there is a simultaneous decreasing desire for formal independence.

Shelley Rigger investigated this phenomenon and concluded that a generational gap exists in Taiwan wherein the younger population (18-35), though increasingly identifying themselves as Taiwanese, looks upon China with pragmatism and rationality rather than traditional aggression. Rigger does note that, "there is powerful logic... That as Taiwanese lose their emotional attachment to Chinese identity, they will be less interested in interacting" with China. Such a powerful logic', however, is rooted in an obsolete model of systemic theory.

Instead, Rigger notes that the emotional component that normally triggers resentment and distrust in these instances is being replaced with increased pragmatism. In a survey Rigger conducted of 18-35 year old Taiwanese residents, 73% of respondents said they would encourage increasing cross-strait economic engagement (Rigger 2006, 29) as a means to improving Titan's economy. Additionally, a majority of respondents said they'd be willing to work or study in mainland China.

In a subsequent survey asking what is their most pressing concern, majority of 19-30 year old Taiwanese residents cited 'personal economic concerns' as the number one issue; only 7% of respondents cited political tensions with China. Rigger concluded that for the younger generation of Taiwanese issues of unification and independence "are of little concern to them... They are far more interested in pragmatic issues involving economics, employment, and education" (Rigger 2006, 27). Accordingly, the trend of 'Atomization' that realists fear has instead produced immense optimism about the future of China-Taiwan relations (Rigger 2006, 4).

As the elder generation of Taiwan residents slowly cedes power to a younger and less historically minded generation of politicians, businessmen, and military officers, there is a greater likelihood that hostilities will be minimized by a rationality and pragmatism that recognizes cooperation and commercialism as the means to economic prosperity. China & The Security Dilemma been the principal drivers of China's very high level of international economic integration. In turn, the pragmatic imperative to continue rapid economic growth... As gradually led China to participate more actively and cooperatively' (Lang 007, 147). This 'pragmatic imperative' explains why, in the military realm, "China has been less belligerent than leading theories of IR might have predicted" (Braver, 2007/8, 45). Taylor Braver examined all instances, since 1949, in which China used force during territorial disputes. He concluded that China rarely exploits its military superiority and has instead opted to offer concessions rather than leverage or utilize military force (Braver 2007/8, 45).

In the instances where force was used, China had suffered a 'negative shift in bargaining power', meaning China's relative power was lessened by he the military modernization of a rival (Braver 2007/8, 47). Framer's conclusions directly challenge realist claims. China has only used forced when its relative power has declined and not when its power has increased! This study reinforces the notion that though security dilemmas may still exist, China will not be the instigator of tensions.

The United States or Taiwan may view China's actions as heightening or elevating security concerns, but in reality, China acts simply to maintain a security balance rather than to increase their own first-strike capability. While examining the role of the PLAN in crafting China's policy toward Taiwan, Ellis Coffee notes that while the PLAN is largely responsible for coercing and deterring Taiwan from independence, the Plan's aggressive statements and military exercises are mostly for show rather than a precursor to action Coffee 1997, 64-68).

Coffee points out that there is "no concrete evidence that PLAN leaders have pushed for military action against Taiwan," and that "logic does not point to this conclusion" Foe 1997, 68). The Plan's military posturing may benefit its budget and influence, but "any military action aeries the danger of escalation... Its costs are likely to be enormous. " Accordingly, the PLAN flirts with threatening statements, but it is not courting the idea of actual military aggression. The central problem in trying to understand The Party security thinking lies in an inability to see how the PLAN would be able to harness even its most impressive new capabilities to prevail - at an acceptable cost - in a conflict" (Newer 2009, 206). The higher the costs for a host nation in initiating conflict, the less likely offensive action will be pursued (Braver 2007/8, 78); as a result, without including imperialism and its role in providing growth and prosperity, the existing realist equation used to predict conflict is utterly inadequate.

Both statements and military modernization efforts are being interpreted using traditional realism (Newer 2009, 206-207); however, the reality screams of a different truth. Today, the economic costs of aggression are mitigating security concerns - China learned this truth briefly after Attainment Square, and they have been wary of aggression ever since. China - Prosperity as a Strategic Imperative The secret to China's meteoric rise, according to William Overshot, has been emulating global best practices in economic development (Overshot 2012, 134).

China's economy has grown 14 fold over the past 30 years sustaining a roughly 10% annual growth in GAP. Such immense prosperity is directly attributable to a strategy China is both the most pure form of prosperity-interest, and the first to openly acknowledge that the military prerogative takes a backseat to domestic prosperity. One of the most pressing domestic security and economic concerns for the ICP is "sustaining adequate Job growth for tens of millions of migrants, new entrants to the ark force, and workers laid off from state-owned enterprises not worth saving" (Myers 2010, 4).

Accordingly, China launched, in 2000, a 'Go Global' strategy which sought to encourage Chinese firms to invest overseas, and to attract overseas investments into the mainland. The Go Global strategy makes China better able to "seek more profitable ways of investing its massive accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, [to] gain access to foreign technology and management skills to help domestic firms become more efficient and internationally competitive, and most importantly, [to] acquire energy and raw materials" (Myers 2010, 4-5).

By the close of 2004, over 80% of the world's top 500 companies have invested in China (Snyder 2009, 23). In 1975 China's net trade revenues were $15 billion; by the close of 2006, trade totals eclipsed $1. 5 trillion (Snyder, 2009, 23) - an increase of roughly FED 1983 totaled a mere $636 million; in 2008, FED totaled $92 billion (Myers 2010, 4). Additionally, the Chinese government estimates that there are currently 286,200 foreign companies currently operating in China employing more than 42 million Chinese citizens (Myers 2010, 4).

These figures illustrate that China's rise has been dependent on attracting foreign capital and external resources. Newer argues that more than simply an economic need, China's mass importation of materials and energy is part of a systematic strategy to force resource rich neighboring nations to rely on China for their own prosperity (Newer 2009, 208-209). This reliance, argues Newer, forms a dependency in which China guarantees regional stability and nonviolence by ensuring that no neighboring nation would attack China because that nation's economy is utterly dependent upon China's import and consumer power (Newer 009, 208).

What Newer fails to appreciate or note, however, is that China has come to equally depend on these neighboring nations much in the same way. Dependency theory is often presented negatively in IR (often used to explain how the strong 'North' exploits and suppresses the weak 'South'), but it is not necessarily a bad thing. Dependency implies an overlap of shared interest. China has negotiated a $41 billion with Australia for its liquefied natural gas; and they have agreed too $5. 6 billion deal with Manner, a Chinese border-nation, to export energy from Manner's leading energy consortium (Myers 2010, 5).

The fundamental shift in power transition theory demands why, in today's world, would any country stab a trading partner in the back after formalizing massively beneficial commercial exchanges? Conclusion Somali pirates have resurged lately disrupting the flow of oil from the Middle East. Because great power prosperity is heavily reliant on this flow of oil, the Gulf is now being protected by Chinese, European, and American warships all coexisting in this small waterway to protect material resources that quite literally fuel each nation's economic growth.

Traditional realism should predict conflict in the gulf considering oil is currently one of the most coveted natural resources. However, rather than nation is happy to avoid conflict so long as oil flows unobstructed. Commercialism if effectively minimizing traditional security concerns. What will ultimately determine China's rise is not a security dilemma, but whether its domestic reforms can keep pace with economic realities that dictate national growth or stagnation. China has become aware of such a reality and has opted to pursue prosperity.

Confederacy Theory essay

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